Teen-Age Strangler (1964)

This regional film was made well outside the Hollywood system, being shot in the wild and wonderful world of Huntingdon, West Virginia. Most of the cast and crew of this film were friends or relatives of director Ben Parker, who had made plenty of shorts and the film Invisible Avenger.

The writer, Clark Davis, was the general manager of WHTN-TV, and called in plenty of favors to get locations, like Martin’s Restaurant which was right down the street from the station.

It’s all about a trouble youth who is continually in trouble with the law, which makes things bad when young ladies start showing up dead and covered with lipstick. This is a movie that can’t decide if it wants to be a cop movie, a horror shocker or a bad kids in trouble film. I guess it can be all of these things, but it’s mostly about people dancing and driving. Lots of driving.

John Humphries, who plays Mikey, had never acted before, so he followed the lead of Jo Canterbury, who plays Betty. The more over the top she got, the more he tried to top her. Because that’s what acting is all about, right? As Moe Phelps once told me, “All acting is is jumping up and down and yelling and screaming a lot.”

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